Joyful Learning in October

Back in September Lucy and I started doing the Hubbard's Cupboard curriculum - Joyful Learning. I hesitate to even call it a "curriculum" because for us it consists of a monthly playdough, a bible verse, songs and fingerplays, books and a few art projects.  (We skip a lot of the projects and the sensory bin and I add in other theme things I find). I also add in more bible stories/songs that relate to the theme. 

I've been thinking a lot about preschool type stuff lately and have a whole lot of thoughts on topics that I would love to talk about someday but right now I'm not only still processing how of things will actually work (as opposed to theories and concepts) and because I don't have the brain power to do that. Craig thinks "Mommy brain" is just an excuse but I am positive I lose at least 10 IQ points with each kid. Actual, my lack of brain power is why we are doing Joyful Learning. I don't have to think up anything unless I want to. And sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't.

My goal is not to even have her learn any of this stuff, although I'm assuming she will because she's not a rock, but to spend some one-on-one time with her. We do this during Jonah's naps - and yes, he naps like a champ in his co-sleeper which still amazes me every single day. Maybe someday I will get used to it and it won't seem like a big deal but I kinda like experiencing mini-miracles one to two times a day. We are really enjoying.the time together (I started calling it school because I didn't know what else to call it but as soon as I start getting Jonah ready for his nap Lucy will come up to me and telling me "I want to do fun stuff with you." Unlike a lot of the other "preschool curriculums" (FIAR, rock star, tot school)  I've heard about, I can't really find much documented about this program online so I thought I would put up summary posts every month. I also have a Joyful Learning Pinterest board that I'm using to hold all the theme-y things I find. 

There are one or two themes per month. September's were home and family which worked nicely as we were about increase ours (family, not house :-) I didn't get around to posting the pictures of those activities because of said increase in family size but here is what we did for October with its fall/pumpkins themes.

Pumpkin pie playdough!

Make a nature tote (decorate the bottom of a cereal box with fall colored construction paper)

Trying out our nature tote

For the first eight, I put the glue where she told me to then she stuck on the correct number of leaves but for number 9 and 10 she did it all herself so her trees look more like bushes.

I already documented our trip to the pumpkin patch but when I told Lucy she might find some non-orange pumpkins there, she got really excited about having a blue pumpkin. I tried to warn her that green and white might be the only other colors she would but she insisted there would be blue. Obviously, there were not really any blue pumpkins but not one to settle for a second best color, she asked if we could paint it blue.

I love her expression in this picture. She was very meticulous in her painting. 

We watched a video about how pumpkins grow as well as read a story about a hamster that grows a pumpkin then had fun with this Montessori pumpkin life cycle activity free from Montessori for Everyone.
Demonstrating how little the seeds are.

I hung up our art work as we went. Clockwise from top we have:

  • Leaf rubbing banner.
  • Pumpkin patch painting. Fists in orange paint where pumpkins, thumbs in green paint were leaves
  • Orange pumpkin "book" This was one pinterest find that I wanted to do but we didn't have time for but then the next week we did it at storytime anyway. Kismet!
  • An "acorn surprise" painting. Paint an acorn then put it in a plastic container lined with paper. Shake then reveal the surprise!
  • Painting with fall colors 
  • Counting tree shown above

I don't have any pictures but she really loved the songs this month and was often heard singing "The leaves fall from the trees!" Our library is hit and miss when it comes to their book selection so we didn't get to read all of the listed books but it was easy enough to find fall and pumpkin books. I also took some good ones from this list.

Also not shown was the fall tree snack Craig made for her. A lot of the theme snack options, both in JL and on pinterest, are not healthy so I was really excited to find a real food treat that was fun. She was also my helper in many of my pumpkin cooking endeavours  At first she didn't believe me when I told her the stuff in the can was pumpkin but eventually she came around. I just don't think you can do preschool without snacks, am I right?

So that was October.  I can't wait to share with you all the fun stuff we have planned for next month and from the look on her face, neither can Lucy!

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